National News

Scotland against Trident

ANTI-NUCLEAR protesters in Scotland staged a long weekend of protests against the Trident nuclear submarine programme — and plans to replace it with something even more expensive — starting with a march through Glasgow on Saturday and ending with a sit-down blockade of the Faslane nuclear submarine base on Monday.

Hundreds of protesters, including members of the Scottish Parliament and trade union leaders, last weekend to demand an end to the Trident nuclear missile programme — and for multi-£billion plans to replace the ageing system to be scrapped.

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Work scheme didn’t work

THE GENESIS back-towork programme based in Wales has been wound up because it failed to reach its minimum targets.

The £36-million programme launched in 2008 created just 789 jobs. It was supposed to help 20,000 people get new jobs.

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Evicting Millionaires

by New Worker correspondent

THE CAMPAIGN group UK Uncut last weekend organised delivered notices of eviction to the homes of two government ministers, Lord Freud and Iain Duncan Smith, in civil disobedience actions to protest at the current devastating wave of cuts to welfare benefits.

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Benefit cap begins

THE GOVERNMENT cap on the total amount of benefits one household can receive came into force last Monday, beginning in four London boroughs and due to be extended nationwide between July and September.

Around 40,000 claimants in the boroughs of Haringey, Enfield, Croydon and Bromley will not be able to receive more than a total of £500 a week; this includes Jobseekers’ Allowance, Income Support, Child Benefit and Housing benefit but not disability benefits.

Those most at risk are tenants in private accommodation where the rents are high who have three children or more.

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The Thousand- Mother March

MORE than 1,000 people — mainly mothers, took part in a noisy protest march last Saturday in north London organised by campaign group Taxpayers Against Poverty to highlight the catastrophic effect that benefit cuts are having on mothers.

The march began in Tottenham and proceeded through Haringey to protest at the benefit cap and the bedroom tax.

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BBC uses students to spy on DPRK

THE BBC is facing heavy criticism from academics for using a trip by students from the London School of Economics to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to infiltrate three journalists to film in an underhanded way.

The BBC claims the students were told in advance and that “only the government of north Korea had been deceived” — as though that was fair enough.

The LSE demanded that the BBC withdraw the planned programme but the BBC refused.

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Cold-blooded profiteering of energy companies

THE SENIOR executives of Britain’s “Big Six” energy companies were summoned to appear last Tuesday before the Parliamentary Energy and Climate Change Committee, charged with “cold-blooded profiteering” as part of an inquiry conducted by that committee entitled “energy prices, profits and poverty”.

Figures show that they have more than doubled their retail profit margins over the last 18 months and are now earning an average £95 profit per household on dual-fuel bills.

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Celebrating the end of Thatcher

Celebrating the end of Thatcher

by New Worker correspondent

THE NATIONAL Union of Mineworkers North East Region banner made a triumphant entry to Trafalgar Square last Saturday evening, where thousands had gathered to celebrate the passing of Margaret Thatcher.

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International News

Syrian counteroffensive challenges imperialists’ plans

by David Sole

THE SYRIAN government has launched vigorous counter offensives against recent gains by the imperialist-backed rebels across that country. Intense fighting has been reported in neighbourhoods of Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, in the north. In the south, near the Jordanian border, the Syrian army has moved to push back the contra rebels while sharp fighting goes on along the Lebanese border.

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Boston Bombings draw international condemnation

by Leandro

IN THE United States city of Boston on Monday two blasts just seconds apart killed three people, including an eight-year old boy, and injured more than 140 others.

The explosions at the Boston Marathon drew widespread international condemnation and prompted many major cities around the world to tighten security at a variety of sports events. The twin bombs exploded at around 3 pm local time (1900 GMT) Monday, within seconds of each other near the finish line of one of the world’s most revered races.

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Greek communists elect new leader

The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) has elected Dimitris Koutsoumpas as its new leader, replacing Aleka Papariga, who served as general secretary for over two decades and now returns to work on the Central Committee.

The 19th Congress of the KKE was held in Athens last weekend in an atmosphere of ideological- political unity and after substantial deliberations. The Congress unanimously approved the new Party Programme, the new Statutes and the Political Resolution of the Congress.

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Left leader wins in Venezuela

Nicolas Maduro has been elected President of Venezuela. Maduro won by 1.6 per cent, a 235,000 vote lead over Henrique Capriles of the rightwing Democratic Unity Alliance (MUD) alliance.

Turnout was again very high, at 79 per cent. Sunday’s vote was Venezuela’s 17th election in the past 14 years. That is more sets of elections than were held than in the previous 40 years following the restoration of democracy in Venezuela in 1958

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Cypriots strongly resist austerity

by G Dunkel

JENS WEIDMANN, the president of the German central bank that has been key to the extreme austerity imposed on Cyprus, said: “The situation in Cyprus has stabilised in the last few days.” Workers in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, a small island country of just under a million people, don’t think so.

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Homage to Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov

by Olivia Kroth

ALEXANDER Vasilyevich Alexandrov was born 130 years ago, on the 13th April 1883. The composer wrote the music for the National Anthem of the Soviet Union, which later became the National Anthem of the Russian Federation in 2001. He furthermore founded the Alexandrov Ensemble, also known as Red Army Choir.

Alexander Alexandrov was born in a peasant family of Plakhino, a village in the Zakharovsky District of Ryazan Oblast, southeast of Moscow. He grew up with five brothers and sisters. Alexander had a beautiful voice and loved to sing, memorising melodies quickly and easily.

Because he sang so well, the boy was often invited to sing at village festivities and weddings.

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DPRK: the country that Ché admired the most

Part two of two

by Theo Russell

IN APRIL 2012 a New Communist Party delegation visited the DPRK to join the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the birth of great leader Kim Il Sung. During our visit we saw the strides the country is making in its economic development, the immense national pride, extremely high level of culture, and experienced overwhelming hospitality and generosity on the part of our hosts.

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